December 5, 2007
Could Napa make title game?

Question: If De La Salle gets upset and Napa beats St. Mary's, would Napa get the North state D-I football bowl bid? If not, why? John Boyett and Jake Croxdale both should get strong consideration for section player of year. And one last thing, how is Napa viewed as a football program in Northern California? I think they get vastly overlooked as a solid program year in and year out.

-Brett Thompson, Napa

Answer: We are told that Granite Bay will get the nod over Napa for the Sac-Joaquin Section's D-I berth, no matter how the Indians do against St. Mary's. But neither Granite Bay nor Napa will be selected as the D-I North representative. If De La Salle loses, the 10 section commissioners are more likely to select either Oak Grove of San Jose (12-1), which won the Central Coast Section Open Division championship, or California-San Ramon (11-1), which is playing De La Salle for the North Coast Section title this week. A California win over the Spartans would be huge because DLS has won every NCS large-class championship since 1991. While the multi-talented Boyett should be a lock for the Player of the Year award just based on his leadership alone, the Indians don't get much recognition in Northern California because they haven't really established themselves as a section power. The Indians may be a solid program but they have yet to win a section title and have made only two finals apperances, losing the last one 28-0 to Nevada Union in 1994.

- Bill Paterson

December 5, 2007
Is it Rocklin's fault?

Question: Is Granite Bay's loss to Rocklin the only reason the Grizzlies aren't likely going to go to the D-I state football bowl game?

Joe Hudspeth, Rocklin

Answer: While it didn't help, even if the Grizzlies had reversed both their losses to Rocklin and Vacaville, I'd say they still wouldn't be selected. I believe the 10 CIF commissioners want De La Salle in the D-I title game as the Northern California representative because of the Spartans' huge drawing power. So even if GB were 13-0, De La Salle goes unless they lose this week in the North Coast Section large school championship game. Only section champions are considered for a bowl game.

- Bill Paterson

December 4, 2007
How about a bigger player pool?

Question: It's obvious that the Bee's Player of the Year football candidates readers' poll should be selected from a larger pool and by divisions. To compare someone like Napa quarterback John Boyett to Capital Christian's Kramer Hagan is not fair. D1 is a huge step above D6. But it would not be unfair to perhaps combine D1 thru D3 awards, and maybe D4 thru D7. And to not select someone like Folsom's Cary Grossart just because his team didn't make the playoffs leaves knowing fans and coaches disdainful of the validity and relevance of your poll.

pdaddy, Natomas

Answer: You make some good points and do doubt some of your insights will be among the topics for discussion next year, if we decide to do it again.

- Bill Paterson

December 4, 2007
Shouldn't Napa pass Granite Bay?

Question: Napa has defeated three defending champions from last year - Del Campo, Vacaville and now Elk Grove. Shouldn't the Indians get more consideration than Granite Bay for the state bowl football championships if they beat St. Mary's of Stockton on Saturday for the D-I title, or does the head-to-head meeting won by D-II Granite Bay in Week 2 hold more weight than the total season?

Dean Gold, Napa

Answer: If Napa wins on Saturday, then I think the Indians should rank ahead of Granite Bay for state bowl consideration because of those three impressive wins mentioned above, plus the better overall record (13-1 vs. 11-2). But from what I understand, even if Napa wins, section officials reportedly will nominate Granite Bay as their D-I representative, not the Indians. Cal-Hi Sports also moved Granite Bay (16) ahead of Napa (17) in this week's state bowl rankings, basing that on GB's two impressive wins over Del Oro plus the Grizzlies' head-to-head victory against the Indians. It could be worse for Napa. The Indians could be unbeaten, defeat St. Mary's on Saturday and still not go to a bowl game. Unless De La Salle gets upset this Saturday, the Spartans pretty much have the NorCal berth locked up.

- Bill Paterson

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Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at or

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